Limerick Chamber calls for increased street policing in Limerick at meeting with Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. Pictured are Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, and Minister Kieran O’Donnell pictured at Limerick Chamber
Limerick Chamber meeting held with Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to press for urgent action on Garda numbers for increased street policing in Limerick
Limerick Chamber, the largest business representative body in the Midwest has called on the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to increase the allocation of Gardai to Limerick city and county as part of a multi-agency response to crime and anti-social behaviour in the region.
In a meeting held at the Limerick Chamber, Minister McEntee heard directly from members of the retail and hospitality sector about the intimidating impact that criminal elements are having on customer and employees’ sense of safety, as well as the costs to businesses arising from theft and anti-social behaviour.
The business group called for an increase of visible, on street policing to act as a deterrent for those with malicious intent.
Limerick Chamber President, Miriam O’Connor said “Our members today spoke to Minister McEntee about the very challenging impacts of anti-social and criminal behaviour in Limerick. The business community commended local Garda management on efforts to combat these criminals with successful interventions. Businesses feel an immediate difference when there is an increased visibility of on-street policing, and we asked the Minister to allocate more resources to the Limerick division to ensure that Gardai are better resourced in this regard.
Restaurants, coffee shops, bars, retail outlets and visitor attractions are crucial for a vibrant Limerick. These businesses not only provide amenities and employment, they also help to attract other investment and skilled workers to live in Limerick. Right now, when operating costs have jumped up dramatically, it is crucial that everything possible is done to support keeping these businesses and jobs viable.”
Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan said “Issues of criminality and anti-social behaviour are not unique to Limerick, and the Chamber appreciates that a multi-agency approach is needed to support vulnerable individuals.
In our discussion with the Minister we highlighted an opportunity to plug our shortage in Garda numbers in a meaningful way by reassigning the 16 Gardaí currently on security duties in the Courthouse on Mulgrave street, back to frontline policing and to resource the courthouse differently. This is in keeping with the ‘Future of Policing’ report (2018) and indeed, in Dublin many similar types of courthouse security duties are performed by private security firms.
Media reports in 2022 of anti-social behaviour in regional towns and on-going challenges this year with menacing use of scrambler bikes, highlights the strain that Gardai are under.
We have asked the Minister for action to resolve this matter and to return the 16 Gardaí from the Courthouse to the Limerick division for deployment to other duties. This is an issue of grave concern to the business community.”
The meeting which was attended by prominent Limerick business people from the retail, hospitality and tourism sector, Minister Kieran O’Donnell, Senator Maria Byrne and Superintendent Derek Smart, was reported to have been direct and solution focused.
Limerick Chamber represents circa 400 organisations in the Midwest who support approximately 50,000 jobs. Limerick Chambers mission is to build a stronger, thriving Limerick city and Midwest region.